Sugar, Spice & EVERYTHING Nice

By Brenna O’Dea

Poppy or plain? Onion or sesame? Why must I choose just one?? Well my foodie friends, you will never have to make this impossible choice ever again. We have the solution to EVERY flavor dilemma you face…it’s called everything bagel spice and it is damn delicious.

But first, on a more serious, less salty note, last week the future of our nation, of our entire world, was changed forever. No matter who you support, your views, values, belief system, your age, race, sex, you will be impacted in some way at some point over the next four or eight years. This is a time full of emotion and potentially great confusion and stress. Oh the times they are a changin’ and we can either run and hide, or face them head on with open minds…open mouths. There is no better way to relax and take your mind off your troubles than by cooking and eating with the important people in YOUR life. We’ve got a few comforting recipes to help you unplug and unwind at this crazy time of year.

Bagel

Let’s go back to basics with, you guessed it, the bagel. You have probably heard of the everything bagel and if you have eaten one, or dozens, then you know that they bring a flavor explosion that no measly onion or sesame bagel could bring on its own. I’ll break it down for ya. Just five, count ‘em, FIVE ingredients: poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, and sea salt. Simple, salty, and oh so satisfying. Grab a dozen at your local bakery or better yet, make your own! Gather the family around the table for a day of baking and more importantly, EATING together.

Bread

Hungry for a whole loaf? This bagel-inspired bread will elevate your school lunch sandwich or make a delicious DUNK into your favorite winter soups and stews. Hearty and wholesome, it will hold up to topping and dipping galore. Pop it in the toaster and slather on some BUTTER and jam for a quick and filling breakfast delight, or whip up a batch of savory French toast to warm up on a chilly weekend morning. Call all the little ones into the kitchen to help knead the dough and sprinkle on the spices, and of course they will want to stick around for a taste.

Biscuit

Take a step beyond the bread with these FABULOUS fluffy biscuits. I’ll get right to the point…these bad boys are STUFFED with cream cheese. Yes, I said it. The flavor of the bagel and the cream cheese to match, with the buttery flaky magic of a fresh homemade biscuit. Not satisfied yet…well, we honestly can’t help you there, it does not get better than this. Just make sure to eat them while they’re HOT for the best possible bite. Ooey gooey on the inside and crispy crunchy on the outside, the texture alone make these biscuits winners, but the taste is what really helps them steal the show.

Hummus

Had enough carbs for a lifetime? Try this lighter spin on everything spice for a fun afternoon snack or evening appetizer. Carrots or cucumbers, peppers or pretzels, use your vehicle of choice to chow down on this delightful dip. Mix the spice right into your favorite store bought or better yet, HOMEMADE hummus and pass it around. The mildness of the chickpeas will cut the harshness of the garlic and onions, making this snack a great option for petite palates and timid tasters. Let your little ones mix the spice into this spread and choose their favorite veggie for dipping…we’ve got a pretty good feeling they will ask for seconds.

Nuts

Last stop on this everything spice excursion…some specially spiced nuts just in time for the holiday season! If the usual sweet n’ sugary spiced nuts don’t make your taste buds water, these surely will. Oniony garlicky GOODNESS make these babies pretty addicting. It might be tough to stop at just one handful, so we recommend making a big batch, saving some for yourself, and giving the rest away to loved ones for the holidays. Fill mason jars with these goodies and gift them to friends, family, colleagues…anyone you love who does NOT have a nut allergy. Don’t forget that part. After all, there is no better way to say I love you than with lots of food made with lots of LOVE.

We hope these scrumptious, savory recipes will bring you and your family full hearts and bellies this winter. Bake some bread and then break some bread with loved ones old and young. Everyone can find common ground around the table, and every once in a while we all need to remember what truly matters, friends, family, of course…food!

(Image by flickr member Bradley Hawks licensed under Creative Commons)

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